While Visual Novels aren’t everyones’ cup of tea, there’s no doubt that it’s a game type with a lot of variety. Take ‘But I Love You’ for example. While the screens make it look like yet another seduction simulator, the game that lies beneath is something else entirely. The Stepford Wives-esque story stands the player in an lazy looking small town, whose only citizens are a gaggle of beautiful young women. The twist is that the ladies have a screw or two lose and the entire situation becomes a bit of a horror. To find out more about ‘But I Love You’ I spoke with the games’ creator, Mel Gorsha.
Cliqist : Tell us a little about yourself?
Mel Gorsha : My name’s Mel Gorsha, I was born August 26, 1994, and I have too many hobbies. I am first and foremost a voice actress, and have my hands in a lot of projects on that front; but other than that, I’m a writer, artist, and cosplayer. I like superheroes, sci-fi, music, and junk food.
Cliqist : Gorshatastic! , what’s the story behind your studio name?
Mel Gorsha : I have a habit of just tacking on “-tastic” at the end of things to come up with usernames, and “Gorshatastic!” was the one that I’ve been using for the longest…so why not make it the name of the studio? Ha ha.
Cliqist : Your Project is called “But I Love You“; tell us a little bit more about this game, especially the “A horrific take on dating sims” part of it.
Mel Gorsha : You–the player–are on a road trip to relieve stress, and then you inconveniently have car trouble as you drive past the town…and once you’re in, your car’s kaput, and the very few locals–a handful of pretty girls–are all interested in the newcomer. But as you spend more time with each of them, you notice a couple of things–one, they don’t like leaving wherever they are in town; and two…they’re kinda nuts. You have the option of ignoring the “nuts” part and building a relationship, trying to find a way to get out of town as soon as possible, or doing both (though that takes more time). The “both” part involves visiting the girls, talking to them, snooping around their environment, and trying to figure out what the heck is going on.
Cliqist : The people I shared this project requested me to ask you this: Why did you decide to make a dating Sims game with a horror twist?
Mel Gorsha : Well, horror’s a fun genre…and dating sims are pretty fun too. Why not combine them for a new experience?
Mel Gorsha : It’s definitely more serious. While you can make it pretty light-hearted by playing it as just a dating sim, it won’t be nearly as silly as dating a pigeon.
Cliqist : Tell us a little about the art-style you are using in this game, why did you choose this particular type of art style?
Mel Gorsha : Well, dating sims and visual novels typically have a pretty “anime” style to them; while I want the game itself to be different in what it contains story/gameplay wise, I want the people who don’t know anything about it and decide to play it on a whim to be shocked when it’s not what they expect. So I went with an artist who has an art style that works that way.
Cliqist : What kind of game-play mechanics will be used in But I Love You (hidden objects, puzzles, questioning suspects, combat etc)?
Mel Gorsha : Other than the picking through dialogue you see in visual novels, we’re looking at riddles, hidden objects, sliding tile puzzles, match three puzzles…some of those being timed.
Mel Gorsha : While the game will likely have an 18+ rating (mostly for dead bodies), there will be no nudity, erotic content, or a whole lot of gore. You’ll see a few dead bodies, yes, but they won’t be gory or anything. Just a little dirty. As far as language goes, there won’t be a bunch of cussing; possibly the occasional “damn” or “shit”, but that’s to be expected when you’re trying to not be murdered.
Cliqist : But I Love You features full voice-acting, tell us little bit about the voice actors and the characters they will voice. Your project description states that But I Love You will be available in multiple languages, can you list which ones and do they include both text and Voice translation?
Mel Gorsha : Those are all things that we would have to get a certain amount of funding for…with luck, we’ll get it, but right now I’m more worried about getting funds to make the basic version of the game. I voice Emma, the girls who runs the bed and breakfast the player stays at while he’s in town. Lucas Campbell voices the protagonist; he’s from England and goes by “causticgambler” on the internet. Kira Buckland plays Ryanne, and Brittany Lauda is Leila; they’ve both got the spunkier girls of the main five, and they’re both a bit more famous than the rest of us, ha ha. Very professional ladies. Tamara Fritz is Vivian, who’s the perfectionist of the girls. Tamara’s also known as “totalspiffage” online; she and Lucas have done a lot stuff together, along with the last announced cast member, Jane Redd. She plays Allison, and goes by “redasatomato”. They’re all very sweet people and very easy to work with. As for possible translations (text only), we’re looking at French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Russian, and Mandarin. That’s the biggest of our stretch goals.
Cliqist : But I Love You will be available on PC, Mac and Linux; what about porting to consoles and hand-held devices? Will you be offering DRM-Free Copies as well?
Mel Gorsha : That, I’m not so sure about. It’s gonna be another of those “let’s see where we get with funding” before we make any decisions along those lines. If we were to blow away all of our stretch goals, then we’d definitely look into getting to hand-helds and consoles. DRM-free, I’ll have to think about…we are looking to get the game on Steam, after all.
Cliqist : For those people who are unable/unwilling to pledge through Kickstarter, would you be offering alternative means of donating to the But I Love You project?
Mel Gorsha : Definitely! Once the Kickstarter’s over, that is. We’ll be opening up to PayPal purchases, with the same prizes as the Kickstarter; we’ll also be allowing people who pledged on Kickstarter to purchase add-ons, like a t-shirt, poster, print, etc.
Cliqist : Can you close us out with a But I Love You related haiku?
Mel Gorsha :
What the heck is wrong
With all these crazy women
In this empty town?
Thanks to Mel for taking the time to answer my questions! If you’d like to learn more about But I Love You be sure to check out its Kickstarter page. The campaign runs until February 1st and is already well into stretch goal territory.